DETROIT (WXYZ) — All hands on deck are needed for one man U.S. Marshals accuse of smuggling large amounts of hard drugs from Mexico into metro Detroit neighborhoods.
Police say Mendez Tellez was busted with cocaine, and it was during his deportation process when the DEA realized Tellez was part of a much bigger international drug trafficking ring.
Margarito Mendez Tellez was the subject of a major DEA investigation. He was indicted for smuggling cocaine, heroin and fentanyl from Mexico and bringing it into the metro Detroit community.
"He was in the process with immigration to be removed," said Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Aaron Garcia.
Officials learned Margarito Mendez Tellez was in the country illegally when he was first busted with drugs.
"During that time, he was still continuing his criminal activity and bringing in high amounts of drugs," Garcia said.
That's what tipped the DEA off to a larger drug ring and launched Operation Double Take in 2016.
"The organization was getting the drugs directly from Mexico; they were getting shipped to Chicago, getting pushed from Chicago to Texas," said Garcia.
According to Marshals, Tellez' illegal activity was traced to southwest Detroit, where five men were caught with a large amount of drugs.
"This organization was responsible for transporting and distributing 50kg of cocaine, 10kg of Fentanyl and heroin," Garcia said.
Busted as part of the crackdown on opioids, four of the men were arrested and have been convicted of drug trafficking. But Mendez Tellez took off, landing now at the top of the U.S. Marshals' Most Wanted list.
"So Duck, which he goes by – Duck – he has ties to southwest Detroit and still has associates, family here on SW Detroit," said Garcia. "He has ties to Waterford and Pontiac, Michigan area."
The Marshals say Mendez Tellez last worked for a landscaping company in Waterford but has ties across metro Detroit, state and international lines – which is why it's all hands on deck to find him.
"This is a joint collaboration on these big organized crime cases with the DEA doing the investigation, then you got Immigrations and Customs Enforcement involved in the recovery of this fugitive from ICE," said Garcia. "And then you've got the Marshals who are assisting with locating and arresting this guy ya know, based on all these charges. This is what we do, this is our job to work with other departments and agencies and federal government to find fugitives that don't want to be found."
As always, there's a cash reward for any information leading to the arrest of Margarito "Duck" Mendez Tellez.
You can call the U.S. Marshals anytime at (313) 234-5656.